Update 10/9/19: The Pokemon Company has now confirmed that Galarian Ponyta will be a psychic type Pokemon, and will be exclusive to Pokemon Shield. Orignal story follows.
Just recently, The Pokemon Company hosted a 24-hour live stream featuring its upcoming games, Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the lengthy stream was mostly uneventful, dedicated fans who stuck through the end were surprised by the appearance of two strikingly different, yet familiar Pokemon. Minutes before the live stream ended, these new Pokemon galloped into view and appears to be Galarian versions of Ponyta, one of the original 151 Pokemon.
To the uninitiated, Galar is the UK-inspired region where the next generation of Pokemon games is set. The 24-hour Pokemon Sword and Shield live stream was mostly just soothing music and did not include any commentary explaining what is happening, so there is no direct confirmation that the creatures shown were a new iteration of the fire type Pokemon. While the new creature bears a striking resemblance to Ponyta, fans quickly noticed that it lacked some defining features.
Instead of its firey red hair and tail, the Galarian Ponyta's sports a purple mane, which appears to look like clouds rather than fire. In addition to that, the Gen 8 Pokemon has a small horn on top of its head, resembling a unicorn. Moreover, eagle-eyed fans also noticed that one of the Galarian Ponyta lacks a tail. It is currently unclear why this is the case, but one of the leading theories out there is that this just shows the gender differences of both Pokemon.
Up until today, The Pokemon Company is still yet to give exact details as to what we've seen in its recent live stream. However, given that the Galarian versions of Ponyta lacked the original version's fiery mane, many are now wondering what type Ponyta will be in the upcoming games. This is not at all surprising given that Sword and Shield have since introduced new designs that were different than previous generations.
Galarian Ponyta is a Fairy Type
In the recent live stream, the majority of the Pokemon showcased were confirmed to be fairy type Pokemon. It is currently unknown why The Pokemon Company decided to go mysterious with Ponyta's typing, unlike the other creatures shown that were confirmed to be fairy type. However, one thing that it seems safe to assume from the live stream is that Sword and Shield will not feature a fire type Ponyta.
But of course, Ponyta jumping from fire type to a different one for Sword and Shield is not at all unlikely. Previously, The Pokemon Company revealed that both Weezing and Zizagoon will receive a different typing. In previous iterations of the game, Weezing is categorized as a Poison-type Pokemon, but its Galarian version will be a Poison/Fairy type. On the other hand, Zigzagoon will jump from Normal to Dark/Normal in the upcoming games. Although there is still no official confirmation from The Pokemon Company, it is likely that Galarian Ponyta will be at least a part fairy type Pokemon in Sword and Shield, given its purplish-gray color, and the fact that almost every other creature revealed is a fairy type.
Galarian Ponyta Will Be a New Type of Pokemon
While this may be a bit of a stretch, it is not impossible that The Pokemon Company has a few surprises on the way for Sword and Shield. Its 24-hour live stream alone brought the surprise reveal of the Galarian Ponyta, which is likely a fairy type but may also be a new type that will debut in Sword and Shield. Again, given the lack of more information about Gen 8 Ponyta, and because of the vague way it was revealed, it is not impossible for The Pokemon Company to add a new Pokemon type in the upcoming games. As for what this new type will entail? We still don't know. Of course, the possibilities here are endless, as it may even be a new "Whimsical" type Pokemon for all we know.
One thing that could quickly shoot down this theory is the pattern for other new-type additions. Gen 2 added Dark and Steel, but it wasn't until Gen 6 that Fairy was introduced. Given how spaced out these introductions are, we wouldn't hold our breath on this theory.
So What Does This Mean for Rapidash?
Unfortunately, the strange 24-hour Sword and Shield live stream did not showcase the Galarian form of Rapidash, which is the evolved form of Ponyta. However, one of the likeliest scenarios is that Galarian Rapidash will sport the same appearance as Ponyta with a purplish-gray color and a cloud-like mane instead of fire. As for Rapidash's possible type, it is more than likely that it will share the same type as Ponyta.
Luckily, players won't have to wait for too long to find out given that Pokemon Sword and Shield releases next month. Among the many changes the upcoming games are introducing to the series, fans are split in half with the decision to remove the Exp Share item from Pokemon Sword and Shield. This feature will make Exp Share automatic instead of allowing players to switch it on and off, depending on their preferred playstyle. As of now, it remains to be seen whether developer Game Freak will make further changes based on current feedback.
Pokemon Sword and Shield are set to launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.